Upfronts 2016: Crackle Sets Virtual Reality Initiative

RELATED:Comcast to Add Crackle Originals to VOD Lineup

Over the top streaming service Crackle will provide viewers a virtual reality experience featuring its original content, the service announced during its upfront presentation Wednesday morning (April 20).

The Sony Pictures Television-owned Crackle's VR theatre will allow viewers to stream their entire content library – including movies and original programs – in a fully-immersive viewing environment while providing advertisers the opportunity to embed advertiser logos and 360 degree commercials, according to company officials. In addition, Crackle will make available a VR speical of its Bryan Cranston-produced animated series SuperMansion as well as produce extra VR content from its original programming slate that can be advertiser sponsored, the company said. 

“At Crackle, we believe that creating content and ad experiences that mirror changing consumer habits are instrumental for driving viewer attention,” said Eric Berger, Crackle general manager and executive vice president of Sony Pictures Television Digital Networks. “We’re charting a path for television with a sustainable ad model that is a win for the advertiser, the network and most importantly, the consumer.”

On the programming front, Crackle said it has renewed freshman series SuperMansion for a 10-episode second season and has greenlit a 10-episode one-hour drama series based on the popular Guy Ritchie movie Snatch.

Crackle will also air episodes of its Sports Jeopardy! weekly quiz show on NBCSN as part of a deal reached between the company and NBC Sports Group. The multi-year agreement between NBC Sports Group and Crackle will include over 100 existing episodes plus additional episodes of Sports Jeopardy! produced by Crackle.

Also, Crackle’s reality series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee will feature as guests in its upcoming eighth season actress Margaret Cho, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, stand-up comic Jim Gaffigan, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, actor JB Smoove and writer/producer Judd Apatow.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.